Friday, 15 February 2013

1968 Gibson Barney Kessel Custom

We've seen several cool vintage archtop guitars in the last days, let me complete the series with one of the most beautiful electric guitar ever: the Gibson Barney Kessel Custom

I know, it's not the first time I post one (see here and here), but I never have enough of it!

Bertram D

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  1. I've always loved that red sunburst finish. BK was a hell of a great guitarist.

  2. OMG! In love...

    Luckily many years ago I worked in the West End - one night a friend and I were going from pub to pub - I heard this guitar coming from a basement, paid a tenner and watch Barney for an hour! Brilliant - he played one of these exclusive and it sounded superb

  3. Hello,

    For want of a better name, Gibson's 1960's "signature" series produced some lovely guitars. The Barney Kessel model is by far the most high end and stylish. The Trini Lopez model ( ) has the same body design but is usually made with laminate rather then hardwood, es175 hardware and a lovely take on a Fender style headstock.

    My favourite would be the Tal Farlow model with its deep body and scroll cutaway ( ). This example has a nice 3 colour burst but most came in a not very appealing Viceroy Brown. I have played two examples of this guitar and both also had a laminate top. I assume some hardwood models were made but I listen to a lot of Farlow's music and his guitar sound seems thinner then most Gibson archtop players so maybe it was all part of his thing.

    The grail of Gibson 60's player guitars is the Johnny Smith ( ) I have never seen one let alone had the joy to play.

    I think it is interesting that L5's, Super 400's and es335's from the same period command far higher prices but they all came out of the same factory and were built by the same luthiers. Perhaps these are good guitar investments for the future, though, you still need a whack of Somalians.

    regards to all,


    1. Hello David, I have aquired what looks like a Ibanez Barney Kessel Custom? Please see and tell me your opinion. What on earht is it? A fake or what?

      Cheers, Chris

  4. Beautiful guitar! Really love it... how much are they?!




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